Starboards Plastic Offest Program collectors have once again exceeded their target of collecting 50,000 KG of plastic waste from the beaches in Thailand. Now we have a new target to reach, 75,000 KG. A part of Starboard’s way to take responsibility for reclaiming the plastic produced in the form of boards.
Each year, Starboards Plastic Offset Program targets increases in line with how many boards produced that year. As part of the 1 board = 1.1 KG of plastic reclaimed promise. For the year of 2019 – 2020, the aim was 50,000 kg and the previous year’s target was 43,000 KG. After each target’s met the team does not stop there. In alignment, the funding for the trash removal continues too. Resulting in an extra 22, 937 KG of plastic waste collected.
Additionally, a huge contributor to why our team collects so much waste is clearly due to the amount of plastic used and then how it reaches the shorelines. The Plastic Offset Team is heading out 3 to 4 times during monsoon season, where they are collecting up to or over 1 ton of plastic waste per week!
Next Years Target?
We are scaling up! For 2020 – 2021 our new target for plastic waste collecting is 75,000 KG.
What Changes Have We Seen Since COVID-19?
As you may imagine, COVID-19 has led to an increase in medical waste found. Including surgical or protective masks amounting to approximately 1 KG a week. If you feel the weight of your mask, you’d probably need 333 of these to feel the weight of 1 KG!
However, COVID-19 has not just affected the type of waste found during the clean-ups. For a country that hugely relies on the tourism and hospitality industry for jobs, there is now a lot more struggle. Starboards Plastic Offset Program is always on the search for people to join the team in a paid role. Additionally, the funding of this project, to pay the team who are active on the ground, comes from the internal tax that Starboard places on itself as a form of climate tax. Starboard has taken this opportunity to provide a way of income for people who have been put out of a job during COVID. Furthermore, working on the POP team allows for even more individuals to learn about why we should be protecting the Ocean. We’ve had 25 new POP members join since COVID restrictions started.
Highlights Of The Year
This year we broke through! With 10% of each of our clean-ups per month is made up of fishing nets we are now able to recycle them. Supporting these efforts and allowing them to happen is thanks to the Net Free Seas project implemented by the Environmental Justice Foundation who are working with a local recycling facility to process the fishing nets into plastic pellets which are then used to create new products. The new products which EJF and Qualy have been making include; Push Sticks for contactless button pressing during COVID times, drinks coasters, bottle openers and Surfboard fins. Read more about EJF’s projects on their website and on Reuters.
Our aim for the Plastic Offset Program is to make it a Zero-Landfill Project. Knowingly, there is still a long way to go to recycle all waste!
A Key For Success
Assisting Starboard’s Plastic Offset Program team in collecting so much plastic waste is the support from the local governments and private sectors. Furthermore, this allows our team access to the shorelines under their keeping. These permissions have allowed us to collect in the areas of Bangsean and Sattahip beaches.
Watch our revived Plastic Offset Program video below!